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LAURELS: Here’s Who Takes Us Soaring to New Heights

By Dateline Staff on May 16, 2017 in University

UC Davis soared with pride at Soaring to New Heights, with the presentation of the university’s Diversity and Principles of Community Awards, Calvin Handy Leadership Award, and Disability Awareness Awards. Here are the honorees, with remarks from the presenters:

Diversity and Principles of Community Awards

Individual: Ken Barnes, Internship and Career Center —Ken embodies the Principles of Community in his multiple roles at the Internship and Career Center, where he has served as the program coordinator in liberal arts and business since 2005.”

Team: ASUCD Office of Advocacy and Student Representation — The OASR lobbies at the state and federal levels for assistance on such issues as hunger, homelessness and loan debt, Pell Grants and immigration — advancing the principles of affirmative action and diversity.

Deanna Falge Award: Diane Carr, student affairs specialist and outreach coordinator, UC Davis Extension — In receiving this award named after a retired affirmative action compliance officer, the university recognized Carr for her long history of service to diverse campus communities — including veterans — to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus.

Eleanor Fontes-Fulton Award: Maureen “Mau” Stanton, distinguished professor, Department of Evolution and Ecology, and vice provost, Academic Affairs — This award is named after the retired director of the Office for Diversity, Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity, credited with expanding the framework of diversity and the Principles of Community that UC Davis builds upon today. Stanton has been quite a builder — in her department, in her field and, in recent years, as vice provost and co-principal investigator on the ADVANCE initiative, which works to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.

Calvin Handy Leadership Award

Rocci “Rocky” Twitchell — This award, named after the police chief emeritus, recognizes Twitchell as “a tireless champion and advocate for public safety” — as the campus’s fire extinguisher technician, and an instructor of self-defense classes and “Community Survival Strategies for Active Shooter Incident.”

Disability Awareness Awards

Viridiana Alcaraz, human resources coordinator, Student Housing — “She is very proactive in the interactive process regarding temporary accommodation relating to workers compensation. She works closely with supervisors to ensure temporary assignments are compatible with medical restrictions.

Francisco Andrade, assistant manager, contracts and grants, Accounting and Financial Services — He has “contributed significantly and on many occasions by providing temporary work assignment opportunities for injured workers needing transitional modified duty.” under our campus workers compensation modified duty program.

Cliff Contreras, director, Transportation Services (TAPS) —Cliff has a deep and strong commitment to his staff and genuine concern for staff facing serious disability and health issues. … Additionally, Cliff has stepped up and forged an agreement with Student Affairs to have TAPS take over administration of the Mobility Assistance Shuttle this fall.”

Jennifer Kellogg, chief administrative officer, Department of Radiation Oncology, UC Davis Health — “She has mentored her staff in how to navigate the process leading to successful reasonable accommodations. … Her kindness and compassion is genuine and she looks for ways to assist the staff to be successful in the workplace.”

Carol Matheny, manager Patient Transport Services, UC Davis Health — “Among other valuable contributions, she has welcomed those who need a fresh start, maintaining empathy and a supportive attitude toward her employees, while meeting the demanding and fluctuating business needs of her department.”

Sarah Sardella, nurse manager, Transplant Clinic and Transplant Center, UC Davis Health — Knowing that some nurses are limited to light duty, she has made room for them in her unit — thus allowing them to put their clinical knowledge to work in less physically demanding roles, handling case management functions at the Transplant Center.

Fredna Karneges holds award plaque; she is flanked by Ken Burtis and Walter Robinson.
Fredna Karneges, flanked by Ken Burtis, interim provost and executive vice chancellor, left, and Walter Robinson, associate vice chancellor. (T.J. Ushing/UC Davis photo)

Special Recognition Award

After presenting the Disability Awareness Awards, Fredna Karneges received an award of her own — a special recognition award for her work as the manager of Disability Management Services. “Fredna has leveled barriers for the disabled population on campus since 1984. Every day Fredna works with disabled faculty, staff and their supervisors to create solutions for the challenges the disabled individuals face in the workplace, demonstrating that compliance with law and policy can be carried out with great compassion.”

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or